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August 30 2014

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Eastern Promises, Backstage at Dries Van Noten

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The preshow rehearsal backstage at Dries Van Noten went a little longer than usual this afternoon, which meant we had a fair bit of time to kill before speaking with hairstylist Paul Hanlon and makeup artist Peter Philips. So we did what any fashion-obsessive would: We peeked at the models’ racks to get a preview of the show before it started. “There was a big exhibit of Asian clothing at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and Dries took pictures and printed those pieces onto other pieces,” Philips confirmed of the Japanese-inspired motifs we spied next to Tilda L.’s and Monika S.’s cards. “You get a print of a jacket on a jacket,” Philips explained, pointing out that he took a single color reference from these fabrics and reimagined it in the makeup.

“It’s about color-blocking,” he said, using three variations of an orange undercurrent from the collection on eyes, including two discontinued shades of Make Up For Ever Eye Shadow in no. 66, a mustard, and no. 78, a rusty mandarin, and Chanel’s Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eye Shadow in Tigerlily, a “fresh” tangerine according to Philips. Skin was kept pale to contrast with the bright lids, while lips were lined and filled with Chanel Crayon Lèvres Lip Liner in no. 35 Natural for a muted, matte finish.

As a Smiths’ best-of album played on the sound system, Hanlon was perfecting yet another iteration of Fall’s favorite updo, the ponytail. “Make sure the little bits in the front have spray on them to hold them down,” he directed his team, smoothing the front of a short side part across the forehead and over the ears before securing texturized lengths with a black elastic that would ultimately be removed. “There are no hairbands,” he said explaining that after a hefty portion of hairspray and a hit of heat from the blow-dryer, the fasteners would be cut out to leave behind a slight indentation. “It’s a little detail,” he said, calling the overall look “natural and easy—very real,” the better to balance out Van Noten’s opulent, detailed designs.

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